Morning madness or why I sometimes just want to get in my car and keep driving until I run out of gas

  1. Wake up at 3:30 a.m. 3.5 hours before I have to leave for work because I fell asleep in my son’s bed listening to Harry Potter because he has to read or listen to a book 20 minutes a day.
  2. Take the dog out. Chase him to the neighbor’s front yard in my robe where he is peeing on a bush by their porch. The light goes on and I hope they don’t wake up and see that I let my dog pee in front of their house while I am standing there in my robe. Chase him back home hoping there isn’t a scary clown or loose criminal out with us or that a car will drive by and hit my dog and I’ll have to go to the emergency vet.
  3. Feed the dog. Keep giving him treats and bones and cheese or lunch meat because he keeps looking at me like his 40 lb puggle body is still hungry.
  4. Pack lunches. Remember $1 for ice cream day. Remember which snacks the kids no longer will eat and balance the boxes so they have enough so they are not hungry and not too much that it comes back wasted.
  5. Check the weather to decide what the kids should wear.
  6. Dig for matching clothes that still fit my kids in the 10 baskets of clean clothes that haven’t been hung in closets yet, which I swore I just did three weeks ago. Throw them in the dryer to get out the wrinkles.
  7. Put snacks in the kids’ bags. Make sure the drinks don’t have color in them in case they spill on their desks. And make sure the snacks are still food they currently will eat and yet are still healthy.
  8. Check their backpacks for homework and their reading books and that the reading log is filled out.
  9. Try to remember if it is library day and if they need their library books or if they need notes written telling the teacher they are not taking the bus after school and for field trip notes or fundraiser money that is due or apples or anything else they were supposed to bring yesterday.
  10. Check the online calendar to find out if they are supposed to wear a special color for a special event and hope it is not purple again.
  11. Log on to my computer that rarely works on the first try and try to remember my password to pay for child care before 8 a.m. when it locks you out and if you forget you have to pay $25 or take another 10 minutes to fill out forms and write a check and sneak out of work to sneak the payment into the payment drop before they notice you are late because although the money is due at 8, they don’t check the drop until 8:30.
  12. Find everything I need for work. Today it was tissue paper and candy to make pinatas.
  13. Find everything I need for after school activities because most days we rush somewhere right after the bus arrives or leave straight from work. Or have flash cards and homework in my bag so we can do work in the car in between activities so we are not up until 9 p.m.
  14. Throw some snacks in a bag to call my lunch, which I will eat before 10 a.m.
  15. Find clothes that fit me and don’t make me look too old.
  16. Shower and put on makeup and contact lenses and scrunch up my hair and hope it dries looking like some kind of style.
  17. At 5:30 my husband gets up and makes sure the kids are dressed. He dresses the youngest while he’s still sleeping.  He finds matching socks for them and puts out their shoes.  My husband leaves for work.
  18. Make chocolate milk and a breakfast of toast for one child. A bowl of dry cereal for the other.
  19. Yell at one child to turn off the TV and the light and come down to brush teeth and get shoes on.
  20. Yell at the same child to turn off the TV and the light and come down to brush teeth and get shoes on
  21. Yell one more time to turn off the TV and the light and come down to brush teeth and get shoes on.
  22. Go upstairs to turn off the light and the TV and yell at the child to go downstairs to brush teeth and get shoes on. (Our family/ play room is upstairs.)
  23. Try to wake up the other child by dragging him out of bed and promising something fun to look forward to today, which might be a lie or an exaggeration of the truth. Make him brush his teeth. Toothpaste is still on the toothbrushes, but they swear they both somehow brushed a couple teeth.
  24. The youngest will cry about something. I’ll yell or scream.
  25. Tell the kids to grab their backpacks and go to the car. Open car door or they play with everything on the porch instead of getting in the car as they pretend they can’t open the car door.
  26. Turn off all the bedroom and bathroom lights.
  27. The oldest runs back in the house to look for a book he just has to bring to school today as he turns on all the lights.
  28. Turn off all the bedroom and bathroom lights again.
  29. Turn on the house alarm, put all my bags in the car, and make sure everyone has seatbelts on. Turn on car.
  30. Notice one child is missing a backpack. Turn off the car and run inside to get the backpack.
  31. Turn on the alarm and start the car.
  32. Remember I needed something else for work. Turn off car, run inside, turn on the alarm, and start the car again.
  33. Drive the car a few feet before my son realizes he forgot his glasses.
  34. Turn off the car, run inside, grab the glasses (at least they are where he said they would be this time), clean the glasses, turn on the alarm, and start the car again.
  35. Drive to the end of the driveway where I notice the trash cans. But I know my husband did not empty the recycling bin into the recycling can.
  36. Drive back to the front door, turn off the car, run inside, and take the rest of the recycling out as we won’t fit the next recycling in the recycling bin in two weeks unless we fill it up this time.
  37. Return the bin inside, turn on alarm, and finally drive away.
  38. Take kids to before school care 10 minutes late and get stuck in a long line of traffic by the train.
  39. Think about not going to work and just keep driving until I run out of gas, but remember I need a paycheck to make it through numbers 1-38 every day and my gas tank will probably only take me to Naperville anyway. But still dream about just being able to drive away or take the train I am stuck behind somewhere fun.
  40. Remind myself that I really need to get all of this on a calendar as I have told myself every day for three years.
  41. Get to work where a teenager is sitting at my desk and comments about me being late as she does every day even when I’m not late.  I'm tired of explaining my start time is 7:36 and not 7:30 and that I have two other little humans that don't always cooperate and that I usually stay late or skip my lunch and that this is amazingly only the third time I've actually been late this year.
  42. So instead I glare at her with squinted eyes and my mouth open. And think about how I get to start it all over again in 12 hours.

Filed under: Bad Mom Tips


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  • As a teacher of high school kids, I often wonder how I will continue to do this job once I have kids. Sounds like you're handling it. Keep up the good work! I love a good list, even if it's about someone wanting to drive away forever :-)

  • Wow this is a lot to unpack. That you were even able to write a post, let alone publish it speaks volumes. It doesn't sound like you are getting the support you need. I hope you can get it somehow.

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